Published on Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Irish travel tech companies urged to strengthen links with the UK

Irish travel technology companies are being urged to focus on the UK market by Enterprise Ireland, a government funded organisation to help develop trade relations.

It forecast that travel IT expenditure in the UK will represent £1.3 billion in 2011, which will outstrip the average IT spend for the first time since 2008.

According to its estimates, travel companies will spend 6.7% more on technology this year, compared to 6.4% for all UK enterprises.

At a dinner earlier this month, hosted by His Excellency Mr Bobby McDonagh, the Irish Ambassador to the UK, many of the UK’s leading travel companies had an opportunity to meet with Irish technology companies.

Amongst the UK companies were Low Cost group, TUI, P and P Associates, Virgin Atlantic, Hertz, Easy Jet, Gatwick Airport and BMI.

The Ambassador spoke warmly of the close and special relationship between the UK and the Irish (but disappointed many in the audience when he confessed his allegiance to Tottenham Hotspurs FC).

The evening ended with introductions to the technology companies present from the Emerald Isle, which included CarTrawler, Direct Ski, Monex, Open Jaw and Surf Box.

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Undercutting is not for the long-term. Demise of volume players.

The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.